City wants to know where locals shop
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Oct 25, 2013 | 2808 views | 5 5 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In an effort to attract popular businesses to Tracy, economic development officials are compiling a wish list of restaurants, retailers and entertainment attractions preferred by local residents.

The city sent out a retail survey in September and October water bills, according to Economic Development Management Analyst Amie Mendes, and an online version is available at

“We’re trying to meet the needs of the community,” Mendes said. “People are pretty passionate about their retail stuff. What we’re doing is trying to get an understanding of where people are shopping for when outside of Tracy.”

The survey consists of eight questions about favorite stores and restaurants, as well as where Tracy residents shop and what they purchase outside of town.

Armed with the results, Mendes said, the city will formulate a strategy to go after the businesses that appeal most to residents.

According to Mendes, the top five restaurants in the September survey results were BJ’s Brewhouse & Restaurant, Red Lobster, Cheesecake Factory, Elephant Bar and Chipotle. The most-requested retailers were Trader Joe’s, Kohl’s, Whole Foods, Lowe’s and Nordstrom.

“We’re trying to understand the spending habits of our residents and how to put our attraction efforts together,” Mendes said. “We’re getting ready to send a campaign letter to brokers and retailers that we see (on the list).”

Since the first surveys went out in September, the economic development department has received close to 1,000 responses.

Although some favored businesses already have plans to expand elsewhere, Mendes said, city officials still hope to attract them to Tracy. She said the city could consider offering incentives, such as the $2.75 million the city gave Macy’s in 2010 to renovate and move into a West Valley Mall anchor space.

The survey closes Thursday, Oct. 31.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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October 30, 2013
It sure would be nice to have a trader joes in the community.We have to drive miles to stockton or modesto to shop.Tracy would benefit greatly by having a trader joes...bring in local revenue instead of residents taking their business out of the community
October 30, 2013
Ya! Trader Joes would be nice.
October 25, 2013
The survey seems sparse. Too bad Barnes & Noble are leaving!

And, our Macy's offers very little in the way of variety and quality, seems the buyers for that store have underestimated what consumers in this community want.
October 25, 2013
I have to agree. Barnes & Noble will leave a big void. This is another example of Tracy residents leaving town to make purchases.

And I have to agree with our Macy's. Sometimes I can find better value at Target or...heaven forbid...WalMart.

Having completed the survey, I would like to see how Tracy is going to come up with ideas to entice businesses to open up in the city. The survey means nothing if the city doesn't have the people with creativity to get change.
October 30, 2013
I stopped shopping at big name bookstores years ago. They never had the books I was looking for. They offer to order the book, but you had to commit to purchase it. Kindof defeats the purpose of going to a bookstore to check it out first. Sorry to the people who worked there, but I now buy my books on softcopy with the Barnes&Noble kindle. An article in Reuters said B&N is closing 15 stores a year and I'm pretty sure Borders already went under.

As for my preference in bookstores. I might like to see a used bookstore someday.

As for Macy's, I enjoy shopping there myself. WalMart and Target are are local and ok for a toaster, but for clothing I prefer a Macy's type of store. Ok, I'm spoiled that way. That's me. Don't hate me for it.

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